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Kohl Mansion Wedding by Emily Dawn Photography

These high school sweethearts knew exactly what they wanted when they envisioned their big day: an impressive venue, a classic Great Gatsby like party, and their English bulldog, Frank front and center in a tux. They got all that and then some for their super gorgeous and glamorous day. Emily Dawn Photography captured all the meaningful moments and beautiful details and there’s a whole lot more right here in the full gallery.

From the Bride… Jon and I have been dating since we were 14 years old, which means on the day of our wedding we had been dating for nearly 13 years! The anticipation for our wedding day was very high for the two of us, as well as our friends and family that have followed our high school sweetheart love story for over a decade. Our wedding took place at Kohl Mansion in Burlingame. Kohl Mansion was the first venue we saw, and just like when we found one another, the first choice was the keeper. We loved the unique and elegant architecture right away, noting that it would look beautiful whether the weather was rainy or sunny (we had to be prepared for downpour since our wedding was going to be in April). The thematic idea for our wedding was to take a page from the glamorous garden parties from The Great Gatsby, and the Kohl Mansion was definitely the perfect backdrop.

Because the venue is impressive all on its own, I knew that I wanted to really spend my time on the details that would mean a lot to Jon, me and our families. For instance, I carried my great-grandma’s hankie down the aisle with me and was so thankful for it when Jon’s vows brought tears to my eyes. We also used the cake topper from my grandparents’ wedding as our own. Their 50th wedding anniversary was only two weeks after our wedding, so we thought it would be fun to have them share in the cake cutting to commemorate this special date! And my aunt made my money dance purse out of her bridesmaids’ dress from my parent’s wedding.

Each of my bridesmaids carried a bouquet of one type of pink flower. My bouquet was then a compilation of all of their flowers, but in white (the center pieces were copies of my bouquet but in pink). They each wore a wrap dress to accentuate their own style — I loved how the flowers and their dresses really honored who they were individually while staying within the theme of the wedding. I am a huge Elvis fan, and as a nod to my love for the king, I wore blue suede shoes, and we walked away from the altar to Elvis’ song, “Happy Ending.” The lyrics go, “Boy meets girl and then, they’ll never part again, and live forever happily, like you and me!” I couldn’t think of a better song for two high school sweethearts like us … and it didn’t hurt that it was an Elvis song either.

One of the most special aspects of our wedding was that our three-year-old English Bulldog, Frank, was a witness to our nuptials. After going back and forth beforehand about whether or not to include him in the festivities, we decided we wouldn’t feel right without him there (we are crazy dog people, we know!) So he was there, front and center, tuxedo and all! It was a day we will never forget, and it gave us memories we will cherish for a lifetime. We felt it was the perfect way to end a courtship that began so long ago, as well as kick off a marriage that will last even longer.

Wedding Photography: Emily Dawn Photography (No Longer in Business) / Wedding Venue: Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, California / Floral Design: Flower Divas / Wedding Cinematography: 5 Slugs Videography / Wedding Dress: La Sposa “Detalle” / Bride’s Shoes: Enzo Angiolini

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Burlingame Wedding at Kohl Mansion by Volatile Photography

Oh Monday, how we love thee. And we love this Monday even more than most. Not only are we still toasting to the newest feature that will inspire your screens which launched yesterday, SMP at Home, we are also more than excited to share this romantic beauty by Volatile Photography. Because it is romance realized with all the pretty things we adore so much about ballroom weddings. It’s the vision of this gorgeous Bride and her pretty mama, and you can see all the prettiness they created in the full gallery!

From the Mother of the Bride… The Kohl Mansion was so beautiful that it inspired us to do a somewhat Victorian theme. We decided to go with soft tones such as champagne, blush, cream and white with touches of baby blue. We wanted the look to be elegant, soft and pretty, reminiscent of a Victorian ball. We added several personal touches by incorporating pieces from our own home to make the mansion feel even warmer. We hoped to create a feeling that our guests were in our home having dinner and a lovely evening with us. I was touched and very pleased when a guest told me exactly that. Several years ago, we attended a wedding at The Kohl Mansion. Not only was it spectacular, but also it had warmth and magic to it that we could not put out of our minds. We’ve talked about that wedding and the venue a hundred times since then. I’m sure it was always in the back of our minds that we’d love Erica to be married there. The moment she told us they were engaged, The Kohl Mansion was mentioned. Erica was thrilled at the suggestion, and we immediately made an appointment. Once we met with the absolutely wonderful event specialists, Terri and Dianne, we booked right then and there. We will never forget Erica and Aaron’s wedding day! It was a dream come true.

From the Bride… I wanted the wedding to have a very soft, romantic and vintage feeling. The venue fit this theme perfectly, and we all fell in love with it immediately. My parents and I did all of the wedding planning. My mom and I did all of the designing and picked out every last detail ourselves. We also had wonderful vendors who made helped make planning a piece of cake! The day was incredible — I couldn’t stop peeking into the dining room because it looked so beautiful! Aaron and I both have so many special memories from our big day and were so grateful to be able to share it with our friends and family. For the style of our wedding, we wanted the wedding party to look very classic and elegant. The girls wore black, and boys wore black and white. The colors we chose for flowers and linens were very soft pink, blush, champagne and cream. We wanted the theme to feel romantic and vintage.

Walking into the Great Hall at the Kohl Mansion was like walking into an formal party perhaps thrown at the turn of the century. Warm wood paneling, the dramatic six-foot fireplace and floor-to-ceiling pained windows, murals and lush draperies all lent to the mood. The gorgeous room was complemented with an abundance of soft flowers set upon champagne-colored crinkle tablecloths. The finishing touch was the dark wood chiavari chairs, which were very elegant. The mood, however, was not formal or stuffy. Good friends and family created a wonderfully happy energy. The loud buzz of chatter and laughter was music to our ears! Speeches were touching, sincere … and funny, of course. Woody from Big Fun Disc Jockeys kept the dance floor packed for the entire dance portion of the evening.

Wedding Photography: Kristy Ahumada of Volatile Photography / Wedding Venue: The Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, California / Wedding Design + Coordination: The Bride + Her Mother / Floral Design: Vanda Floral Design / Officiant: Rick Whalen, A Family Friend / Wedding Cinematography: Victor, A Family Friend / Catering: Schumann’s Four Seasons Caterers / Wedding Cake: Have Your Cake / Wedding Invitations: Ajalon Printing / Menu Design: I DO Invitations by Michelle / Meal Choice Cards: DIY by the Bride / Escort Cards:  DIY by the Bride’s Mother / Music + Entertainment: Big Fun Disc Jockeys / Furniture: The Kohl Mansion / Flatware, Dishes + Stemware: Schumann’s Four Seasons Caterers / Transportation: Alpha Limousine / Accommodations: The Westin San Francisco Airport / Wedding Dress: Ivy & Aster “Sweet Pea” / Bride’s Wedding Flats: J.Crew / Hair + Makeup: Lea Oberlander of Sorella / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Groom’s Tuxedo: Calvin Klein via Men’s Wearhouse / Groomsmen’s Attire: Calvin Klein

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Burlingame Wedding at Kohl Mansion by Lisa Wiseman Weddings

I am seriously in love with this next couple who seemingly have it all-beauty, elegance and a playful sense of humor. Timeless black, white + purple details paired with lush greenery at the Kohl Mansion made for a jaw-dropping event with personal touches that will still be relevant in 25 years.  Lisa Wiseman Weddings captured the vibe of the day perfectly-these photos are dripping with love, joy and happiness. Be sure to check out the rest of the images from this California stunner-you won’t be disappointed!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… We decided not to have a theme but, instead, to try to incorporate a number of different styles that we loved. The summer after we first started dating, we were fortunate to be able to spend five weeks traveling around Spain. While we were there we fell in love with the sound of the Flamenco guitar and decided that would be the perfect accompaniment for our ceremony and cocktail hour. We chose a color scheme of purple, white, black and gray with the intention of creating a timeless and romantic look that wouldn’t feel dated when we looked back in twenty years. I also love everything French and chose the china based on a sort of rustic French style. Because the wedding was in California, I wanted to give our guests a taste of Californian cuisine that was focused on fresh, seasonal produce and healthy, simple dishes. The venue felt like the mansion in the game “Clue.” We tried to make use of all of the different rooms, setting up various stations from the photo booth to the cigar and scotch tasting bar. This provided some of our older guests a quiet space to talk where they weren’t screaming over loud music, and our younger guests had a space where they could tear up the dance floor. We also loved that the venue offered both outdoor and indoor spaces. The rose garden really sold me on the place.    

It’s difficult to single out one favorite moment from such a memorable day. If I had to choose, I would say that a moment I’ll remember forever is seeing my groom for the first time at the Ketubah table. My nerves were instantly calmed when I finally saw him through a sea of guests, who were singing to welcome me to the ceremony. Seeing him tear up as I approached the table was a reminder of the gravity of the commitment that we were about to make and the utter bliss and sweetness of the moment. One of the reasons that I love Judaism is because of the rituals and traditions. During the ceremony, we were wrapped in the tallis (prayer shawl) that was given to my husband at his Bar Mitzvah. As we approached the Chuppah, we circled each other seven times, a Jewish tradition that has different interpretations. For us, it represents the idea that we will encompass and protect each other. In general, it was a magical evening that went by too fast. Gabe and I will definitely be the type of couple to renew our vows in a few years. We want to relive the party!

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting the day to be “perfect” and this can mean feeling pressure to spend more money than you anticipated. We found it helpful before we began planning to figure out what was important to us and where we wanted to devote more of our budget. That way, when we were faced with pressures to spend more on elements we deemed less important, it was easier to say no. There are plenty of places to save money that really won’t affect the overall experience of the day. We purchased the alcohol separately, rather than through the caterer, which was budget friendly. Plus, any unopened bottles could be returned for a refund after the event. Because both my husband and I are pescetarians, we decided not to serve beef. This was both budget and environmentally friendly. Practice saying no — it’s a fabulous word. That way when you’re confronted with opinionated family members or guests who beg you to bring their boyfriend who they’ve only been dating a week, you’ll be prepared. Also, he day goes fast. It’s important to try and savor every moment. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes!

Wedding Photography: Lisa Wiseman Weddings / Wedding Venue: Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, California / Wedding Planning: Brittani Waldman of Dream a Little Dream Events / Floral Design: Nancy Liu Chin / Wedding Invitations: Paper Ideas / Wedding Dress: Unknown (Flower Details + Tulle Shoulder Strap Added) / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale

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